Suboxone use and the Boards of Nursing - page 2

by imfree 14,382 Views | 27 Comments

Does anyone here know, with any degree of certainty, how the various State Boards of Nursing view the use of Buprenorphine (Suboxone/Subutex) for opiate dependence and/or addiction? Do they allow nurses who are in... Read More


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    Thank you pokey! I agree with you totally....I'd rather be working with someone on Suboxone than someone in active addiction. The relapse rates of traditional abstinence-based recovery are shameful. If there is something available to bring that rate down, it should be allowed (under the proper supervision of course.) I read an article just today that stated a success rate of about 70% with buprenorphine. Compared to a less than 10% success rate with traditional recovery. I'm glad there are some some state BON's allowing it. Thanks for replying!
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    The ISNAP (Indiana State Nurse's Assistance Program) does NOT allow use of suboxone, or any other controlled substance. When you first go into the program, they warn you that ISNAP follows an abstinence-based program, and that if you are currently taking any controlled substances, they will give you 8-12 weeks to be weaned off of them or you cannot participate. I'm not sure how that works out for people who have legitimate medical conditions, but that's what the ISNAP agreement says anyway.
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    Quote from ehooper80
    The ISNAP (Indiana State Nurse's Assistance Program) does NOT allow use of suboxone, or any other controlled substance. When you first go into the program, they warn you that ISNAP follows an abstinence-based program, and that if you are currently taking any controlled substances, they will give you 8-12 weeks to be weaned off of them or you cannot participate. I'm not sure how that works out for people who have legitimate medical conditions, but that's what the ISNAP agreement says anyway.
    In Texas if someone has a legitimate medical condition and needs narcotics, then they say that the program would not work for them so they refer them back to the bon.
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    Quote from Magsulfate
    In Texas if someone has a legitimate medical condition and needs narcotics, then they say that the program would not work for them so they refer them back to the bon.
    Yes, the Indiana program says basically the same thing... that if you require long-term narcotics use you will be discharges as non-compliant from the program, because taking narcotics is not compatible with safe nursing practice.
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    I know of a nurse who is in the proffesional assiatance program who lives in NY she is on suboxone for almost 4 years and has been doing wonderful she is working a slow taper and has gone grom 32 mg to 14mg .without it i do not think she would have made it thay far. she is now after 3 plus years working as a lpn in NY with no restrictions on her license except that she acn not do more overtime then 10 hours every other week.so it may be a case to cars basis.
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    Quote from ehooper80
    Yes, the Indiana program says basically the same thing... that if you require long-term narcotics use you will be discharges as non-compliant from the program, because taking narcotics is not compatible with safe nursing practice.
    wow, I'm glad Missouri doesn't have that rule. I have a herniated disc and literally cannot function without pain medication. The whole time I was in the program I attended a pain clinic and was prescribed Vicoden. As long as I had my prescription, it was acceptable.
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    florida ipn allows suboxone while practicing.....i have it in my ipn contract. I eventually got off of the stuff though because I wanted to be free of the addiction to the stuff. I have been off the subs for a few weeks now and my brain is now truly off opiates. That is something that is truly a remarkable improvement. I have a little bit of paws but it gets better every day.
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    Quote from wapaloosa
    florida ipn allows suboxone while practicing.....i have it in my ipn contract. I eventually got off of the stuff though because I wanted to be free of the addiction to the stuff. I have been off the subs for a few weeks now and my brain is now truly off opiates. That is something that is truly a remarkable improvement. I have a little bit of paws but it gets better every day.
    Congrats for getting off of everything...and it does and will get better every day--according to the research on addiction it takes approximately 18 months for the brain to return to preaddiction status

    As far as the Fl IPN goes, it's done on a case by case basis..the IPN is an Abstinence only program. This includes the use of all controlled substances and alcohol while you are in the program. The use of suboxone is not allowed unless your addictionologist wrote it specifically into your contract.

    I personally have very strong negative feelings about the use of suboxone, as I don't believe in substituting one opioid for another...and believe me, I know what I am talking about. The withdrawal from suboxone is far worse and much longer than any of the plain old narcotics on the market as it stays in your system for 11 days (it took me 9 days of hell to get off of suboxone)..but now it's been 2 and 1/2 years since I have had anything...and it's GLORIOUS.

    Good luck to all of you out there trying to beat this disease. You can do it.
    Life_is_good_1973 and catmom1 like this.
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    in Virginia, i was allowed to practice as a floor nurse in ltc. allowed to give/count narcotics, but was required for eight months to take suboxone. i didn't feel i needed it, as i was "over" the wanting to use. i had to take the pill every day witnessed by my work site monitor, who had to sign a log sheet. i lost some weight, had less appetite, but didn't notice any other effects. i really felt like vahmp didn't really know what else to do with me and my case. i still had to call five mornings a week and pee test as they randomly chose. i was appreciative of the fact that i was allowed to practice, and that i was fortunate enough to find an administrator/corporate office that would work with me. even though i felt like i knew i was over my active addiction and crazy behavior, i was aware of the fact that the board had to attempt to protect the people i was caring for. i don't know if vahmp determines suboxone use on case by case basis, or what--but in my case i greatly benefited from it.
    Deadhead likes this.
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    Each board of nursing determines their stance on the use of opioid replacement therapy. Check their web site or contact the BON to see if they'll share their position. You can find links to the boards of nursing and many alternative programs here:

    State Boards of Nursing Including Information About Alternative to Discipline Programs


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